Liverpool legend explains why Klopp can’t continue starting front four

Liverpool legend John Barnes has explained the reasoning why Liverpool’s attacking quartet cannot start in every game.

There were major question marks over how Jurgen Klopp would line his side up against Manchester City last weekend.

The questions arose after Diogo Jota started in place of Roberto Firmino and scored a hat-trick in the Champions League win at Atalanta.

But rather than drop the new signing to the bench, Klopp started all four main Liverpool attackers in the 1-1 draw.

But former Anfield favourite Barnes does not believe that will always be possible going forward.

“From an attacking point of view, and being a Liverpool fan, it is pleasing to see all four attacking players on the field at the same time.

“Depending on the opposition that Liverpool face, perhaps we will need to play three hardworking midfielders in the middle of the park, allowing the front four to go all-out attack and cause problems.

“It depends on the nature of the game and the quality of the opposition.

“It was great to see that Jurgen Klopp felt comfortable enough to be playing the four attacking players. But he also had trust in them to be good enough without the ball. You saw that with Firmino against Manchester City, he was defending from the front.

“If they have the right work ethic and know-how to defend as a unit, Jurgen is more than happy to play offensive football.

“In certain games, one of the attacking four won’t play. Mane, Firmino, Jota and Salah cannot all be expected to play every game.

“It is a question of the balance of the team, a striker can be added into the mix and Liverpool can play with five strikers, but the balance of the team is the most important thing.”

Barnes reflects on Melwood memories

Barnes also reflected on his memories of Liverpool’s famed Melwood training ground.

The club is moving its first-team operation to the state-of-the-art AXA Training Centre in Kirkby. By doing so they are bringing their senior and Academy groups together on one site.

And Barnes took a trip down memory lane, saying: “Melwood has certainly changed over the years. When I was there you couldn’t even have a hot cup of tea or a decent shower.

“When you look at it now with the amazing facilities and state of the art pitches, it looks completely different. It is similar in terms of the area surrounding it, that hasn’t changed but you move on.

“Going to a fantastic training facility in Kirkby is great for the club. I would have loved to have trained at Kirkby back when I was playing, as the facilities are so much better than anything I would have been used to.

“But Anfield is the real home of Liverpool, not the training ground.

“As much as everyone speaks about Melwood and the memories there, leaving Anfield to go somewhere else would have much more significance to me.

“Melwood was a great training ground that everyone was comfortable with but that’s the end of it now. Anfield as a stadium that meant a lot more.”

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